NHL: Stars advance in eighth-longest playoff game

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Monday, May 5, 2008

Brenden Morrow scored the game-winning goal, 9:03 into the fourth overtime, as the Dallas Stars defeated the San Jose Sharks 2-1. The goal gave the Stars a 4-games-to-2 series win, and they advance to the Western Conference Finals, where they'll face the Detroit Red Wings.

The game, which took 5 hours and 17 minutes to complete, was marked by the play of goalies Marty Turco and Evgeni Nabokov, who combined for 114 saves.

In the second period, the Stars took a 1-0 lead with an Antti Miettinen goal. However, early in the third period, Ryane Clowe tied the game at 1, with a wrist shot that soared past the outstretched glove of Stars goalie Marty Turco.

As the game went into overtime, both teams fought hard for early chances. Both Turco and Nabokov turned away great chances, including a glove save by Nabokov that appeared to pull his glove above — but not over — the goal line; while the goal light briefly went off, referee Tim Peel waved off the goal immediately. A video review confirmed that the shot was not a goal. The Stars outshot the Sharks 18-11 in the first OT.

In the second overtime period, the Sharks outshot Dallas a staggering 11-2, but Turco continued to keep the puck out of the net. A third OT hooking penalty against Nicklas Grossman gave the Sharks the first power play since the second period of regulation, but they were unable to even get a shot on goal, and did not capitalize on the man advantage

8:14 into the fourth overtime, a tripping penalty to Brian Campbell gave the Stars a power play. 49 seconds into the power play, forward Brenden Morrow redirected a Stephane Robidas shot to the right of Nabokov, his seventh goal of the playoffs.

Turco made 61 saves on 62 shots for the win. Nabokov made 53 saves in the loss.

The game is the eighth-longest playoff game in NHL history, and the third-longest in Stars history. In 2003, the Stars were defeated by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in a five-overtime thriller. A 2007 game saw the Stars defeated in four overtimes by the Vancouver Canucks.

Dallas avoided a deciding Game 7, which would have been held in San Jose. The Stars won the first three games of the series, but strong performances by San Jose, including a Game 5 overtime win, narrowed the series to 3-2.

Conference Finals matchups

The Stars advance to face the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Finals. Game 1 of that series is scheduled for Thursday, at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

The Eastern Conference Finals, meanwhile, is an all-Pennsylvania matchup, as the Pittsburgh Penguins, who clinched their series with a 3-2 overtime victory on Sunday, face off against the rival Philadelphia Flyers. Game 1 will be held at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh on Friday.

Series overview

  Conference Quarterfinals Conference Semifinals Conference Finals Stanley Cup Finals
                                     
1  Montreal Canadiens 4  
8  Boston Bruins 3  
  1  Montreal Canadiens 1  
  6  Philadelphia Flyers 4  
3  Washington Capitals 3
6  Philadelphia Flyers 4  
  6  Philadelphia Flyers  
Eastern Conference
  2  Pittsburgh Penguins  
2  Pittsburgh Penguins 4  
7  Ottawa Senators 0  
  2  Pittsburgh Penguins 4
  5  New York Rangers 1  
4  New Jersey Devils 1
5  New York Rangers 4  
   To be determined
   To be determined
1  Detroit Red Wings 4  
8  Nashville Predators 2  
  1  Detroit Red Wings 4
  6  Colorado Avalanche 0  
3  Minnesota Wild 2
6  Colorado Avalanche 4  
  1  Detroit Red Wings
Western Conference
  5  Dallas Stars  
2  San Jose Sharks 4  
7  Calgary Flames 3  
  2  San Jose Sharks 2
  5  Dallas Stars 4  
4  Anaheim Ducks 2
5  Dallas Stars 4  


Sources

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